Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Susan Cain
The book that started the Quiet RevolutionAt least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak-- that we owe many of the great contributions to society. In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts–from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content

Reviews

Reviewed: 2018-10-10
A very interesting book. Whether or not the categories of introvert/extrovert are correct, I don’t know, but I do know I found myself relating to and identifying myself in the descriptions of the introvert. I found some of the studies fascinating, especially how the brain can react differently for two people in the same situation. Though I can’t speak for the validity of the research, I can identify with most of the characteristics of the introvert and think I personally received some benefit from it.

But I had two problems with the book. The first is that there is no place for the soul in the book. It is all about the body and our physiology. Tenderheartedness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit of God. And though, by God’s common grace, there may be some that are more sensitive than others – this is not a chemical, evolutionary attribute but because we are made in God’s image, some are tenderhearted. But, the extroverted believer, indwelt by the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, will also be tenderhearted. The reverse is true – sin isn’t excused by “I was born this way” which was subtly hinted at in a few places.

The other issue (since I said I had two) with the book is that Cain really didn’t have anywhere to hang her hat. Meaning that there was nothing solid to hang her assertions on and no solid ground for her exhortations to stand. A Biblical view would be that God has created us, knit us together in our mother’s womb to be the person that we are. I am what I am by the grace of God. There are places that my quiet personality can be used for God’s glory, and there are places that the outgoing will be used for God’s glory. No person can do all and be all to all people in that respect. Another blessing and need of the church.

Then we have the other side of the coin. If I’m the process of evolution, should I try to go out and push myself? Why not hole up and read books, if that is what I really want to do? Why should the outgoing pause and listen? Out of love of neighbor. If we take the introvert/extrovert personality types for granted, then we should realize that each person is a depraved introvert/extrovert, and will be selfish with what God has blessed them with. The extrovert will, at times, selfishly make himself the center of attention and bull over the quiet and the quiet will, at times, selfishly keep and withhold good from his neighbor.

I learned a lot from the book, both when I agreed and disagreed. I don’t know that I would recommend the book, but I would urge you to do a thorough study of the mind, soul, and personality from scripture before picking up this book.
Reviewed: 2017-05-28
DNF 7/27/16
Reviewed: 2016-02-01

In this book, the author - an introvert herself - explains just what being an introvert means. Among other topics, she writes about how introverts are misunderstood, how they offer the world something equally as wonderful as extroverts do, and how to cope with the more difficult aspects of being introverted. 

I've always considered myself an introvert, which actually surprised my mother (also an introvert) a number of years back. I bought this book on a whim - I forget exactly why - as I was living abroad. I devoured it and passed it on to my mother. I didn't even wait until I got home. I mailed it to her.

The only word I can describe this book with is empowering, and the only phrase I could use isSpot on! I believe she has also done a TED Talk about the subject, and now there is even a website, Quiet Revolution, based around this book and dedicated to introverts. I highly recommend it and, of course, the book!

[Originally posted on Unabridged Forum]

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